March 21, 2014

Fourth-year medical school students celebrate Match Day

Written by
The 2014 graduating class of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine celebrated Match Day on Friday, March 21, with 94 percent matching in a postgraduate position to continue their medical education. School of Medicine students will pursue residency training in 77 institutions in 31 states across the nation.

Watch UAB Match Day 2014 here.

Match Day, coordinated by the National Resident Matching Program, is when graduating seniors at U.S. medical schools learn where they will conduct their residency training and in which field. This year, 17,000 U.S. medical school seniors and 16,000 other applicants, including students from international medical schools and osteopathic schools, competed for residency program spots.

“Match Day is the end of the years-long journey of hard work and competition for medical students,” said Selwyn Vickers, M.D., senior vice president for Medicine and dean of the School of Medicine. “They’ve completed what may be the most exciting year of their medical careers: the fourth year of medical school, and the culmination of that is matching in a program in the specialty of their dreams and becoming the doctors they have always wanted to be.”

“Match Day really makes clear what our work is all about: to see our medical students mature and reach the point of their dreams,” Vickers said. “We’re a big part of getting them there. UAB is a place where our students can touch the world, either by where they choose to train or by the impact of patients they choose to take care of around the world.”

Seventy-seven percent of UAB students are staying in the Southern U.S. for training, with about 37 percent of those staying in Alabama. Eleven percent of students matched in the central U.S., 5 percent matched in Western states, and 10 percent matched in Northeastern states.

Right after reading his match letter, Creswell Simpson said he was “really excited and a little bit shaky.” Simpson matched in emergency medicine at Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

“I feel like I’ve been waiting for this day for four years, and I’m really excited,” he said. Working in EMS while in college at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., got Simpson interested in specializing in emergency medicine.

“There’s never a dull moment, and I like seeing different patients and doing a little bit of everything,” Simpson said.

Dan Partain and his wife, Paige, both matched in their first-choice programs — he in internal medicine and she in pediatrics — at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine in Rochester, Minn. The couple met on the first day of medical school at UAB and married during their third year.

“UAB is an amazing academic medical institution, and to have that opportunity and also be near home and close to family and friends, it was too good for me to pass up,” Paige Partain said of choosing the medical school at UAB.

 “We are extremely proud of our students’ accomplishments,” said Laura Kezar, M.D., associate dean for students. “Our students have matched into outstanding programs, which will help us achieve our different missions, including primary care, physicians for rural Alabama and physician researchers.”

A large number of students matched into medical specialties, including 17.5 percent in internal medicine, 13.3 percent in pediatrics, 9.7 percent in emergency medicine and 9.1 percent in family medicine. Students also matched in other medical specialties, such as radiology, anesthesiology, medicine-pediatrics, ophthalmology, obstetrics and gynecology, neurology, psychiatry, physical medicine and rehabilitation, pathology, radiation oncology, and dermatology.

More than 13 percent of students matched in surgery and surgical subspecialties, including general surgery, orthopaedic surgery, preliminary surgery, otolaryngology, oral/maxillofacial surgery, urology, neurosurgery and thoracic surgery.

Danielle Franklin matched in pediatrics at UAB, and is looking forward to starting her internship at her first-choice program.

“It’s going to be a hard road, but I’m so ready to meet the patients and the rest of the residents in UAB Pediatrics and then practicing and staying here in Birmingham,” she said.